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By Our Newsmen

Kolkata / Bolpur, 16 September: RESERVE Bank of India (RBI) has granted banking licence to the Birbhum District Central Cooperative Bank Ltd that was founded in the 1980’s but had to suspend operations since 2014 over failure to recover Rs 100 crore bad loans.

According to a statement issued from the state secretariat Nabanna, RBI has granted licence to the cooperative bank on 12 September. Following this, it bank will now be able to resume operations at all its 17 branches located all over Birbhum district.

Birbhum District Central Cooperative Bank Ltd was founded under the West Bengal Cooperative Societies Act in early 1980’s and since then it was functioning as an unlicensed bank with permission from the RBI.

Due to continuous mismanagement and inability to recover loans to the tune of Rs 100 crore that it had issued for over three deceased, the bank failed to comply with the provisions of Section 11(1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Consequently, in May 2014, RBI put an embargo on its banking operations.

Then in November 2014, the Centre took a decision to revive the bank along with 22 other cooperative banks in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jammu & Kashmir. An amount of Rs.111.58 crore was infused as fresh capital with contributions from the Centre, NABARD, and the Bengal towards revival of the bank that has its headquarters at Suri.

Though the Bank re-opened on 01 October 2015, it was not being able to provide full banking services to its customers in the absence of a licence from the RBI. Now, the license has come through on 12 September.

The move will benefit its 270,441 depositors, 210,217 farmer-members, and the 30,120 self-help group that are attached to it.